Karibu Neema Crafts!

(Welcome to Neema Crafts)
Our shop is based in Iringa, Tanzania.

Stop by and find lots of beautiful handmade items such as handbags, lighting, notepads, postcards, jewelry, scarves, toys and more. Everything we sell is made by deaf and disabled artisans in our workshop so come and take a tour!

By shopping with us, you know that our products are made by staff who are receiving a fair wage and our products are produced from sustainable materials. All of the profit from shopping with us goes back to Tanzania to support the work of the project. Each of our products is lovingly crafted by individuals, rather than mass-produced in a large factory, meaning you have an opportunity to directly connect with the artisans themselves and become part of their story.

Directions to Neema Crafts

From Dar-es-Salaam to Iringa

Bus: This will take approximately 9 hours and offers a chance to view a few safari animals while traveling through Mikumi National Park. You can book your tickets in advance with a variety of bus companies. There are also cheaper bus companies, but we would advise going for the more expensive tickets. Prices range from 20,000 – 30,000TZS.

NB: Some buses will drop you at Igumbilo, which is a small suburb of Iringa, from here you will need to catch a taxi up the hill into town (this will cost around 10,000TZS for this taxi to Neema Crafts). Some buses will drop you in the centre of Iringa, which is after the stop at Igumbilo.

Fly: This is by far the safest and most expedient option, but also of course expensive. Auric Air fly directly to and from Iringa three times a week.

Drive: If you already have a vehicle or are thinking about hiring one, this can be slightly more comfortable than catching a bus. It is not cheap however, and may be restrictive unless you are sharing the costs between a group. The going rate for hiring taxi for this route is between 4-500,000TZS one way.

Overnight in Dar: Depending on when you arrive into Dar you may find you need to stay over night before starting the journey to Iringa. There are some good accommodation options near the airport including Transit Motel.

From Arusha / Moshi to Iringa

Bus: There are a number of bus companies driving to Iringa from Arusha/Moshi. Leaving from the central bus stand in Arusha at 06:00 it travels via Moshi and then Chalinze, Morogoro, eventually arriving into Iringa after 12hrs. Ensure you are on a direct bus when you book your tickets (from the bus stand) to avoid a change at Morogoro. Single tickets approx 40,000TZS.

Air: Unfortunately, you cannot fly directly to Iringa from Arusha or Moshi (yet!).

From Mbeya to Iringa

Bus: Unless you have your own car, this would be the obvious mode of transport. There are many buses leaving the main bus stand in Mbeya for Iringa for a range of prices. The cheaper option is to go for a ‘coaster’ bus, but be aware that these will stop regularly on the way to pick up passengers! You should look to leave before 11:00.

NB: Some buses will drop you at Ipogolo (or Ipogoro), which is a small suburb of Iringa, from here you will need to catch a taxi up the hill into town (don’t pay more than 8-10,000TZS for this taxi to Neema Crafts). Most buses will drop you in the centre of Iringa, which is after the stop at Ipogolo.

Drive: If you have your own vehicle you can comfortably drive to Iringa in 6 hours. Again, it is possible to hire your own taxi, but this will be expensive unless you are splitting the cost.

Air: There are currently no regular flights from Mbeya to Iringa.

Workshop Areas

Take a tour

A tour of our workshop is a real treat for any visitor as you'll see artisans skillfully creating our popular items.

Our artisans work from Monday - Friday so simply pop in and ask our shop assistants for a tour, they'll be delighted to show you around!


This is our largest and busiest workshop area here. From cushions to bags and stuffed toys, our tailoring team focus on producing decorative and unique items with precision.

Here we use a wide range of fabrics, such as fabulously colourful African printed cottons or our very own screen-printed designs.

We tend to use hand or foot powered machines according to the ability of the operator. Many of our staff do not yet have power or running water in their homes so by learning to use manual machines they can continue to produce items from home as outworkers or if they go on to set up their own businesses.


The paper making department is headed up by Josephat, one of the founding members of Neema Crafts. He has a truly profound story of how working for Neema changed his whole identity - watch the full story. Day by day, Josephat and the team have to work hard to keep up with demand for our popular hand-made paper and notebooks.


Benjamin Chaula is the manager of our weaving department. He was three when he contracted polio and lost the use of his legs. Unfortunately as a disabled person, Benjamin found it very hard to find employment, because people assumed he couldn’t work, so he spent many years repairing shoes. Since coming to Neema, Benjamin has learnt to weave and has proved his doubters wrong. He leads a team of seven weavers to produce our much-loved scarves, bags and other products.

Weaving is a great craft to teach people with disabilities as it is accessible to a variety of abilities. Some looms use hands only, whilst others need the use of one or two legs. Weaving is also a very therapeutic activity and many of the physically disabled workers who come to us have been through immense trauma and suffering in their lives. The process of creating something beautiful by hand, surrounded by others who have similar stories is perhaps one of the best ways for our trainees to gain confidence and dignity again.


This department produces beautiful turned items such a lamp-bases, candle holders and decorations. Chopping boards, napkin rings and other household accessories are embellished with Zanzibari style wood-carvings. We also have a metal work area that helps with lampshades and jewellery.

The ingenuity, skill and potential amongst all of our trainees in carpentry is very exciting and it is often the area in which new product ideas are developed.

Screen Printing

The screen printing department is a vital element of our production as it supplies materials for many of our popular items, like lampshades. Over the past few years, it has received many fresh designs from our in-house designers and volunteers who have seen how important it is to keep our customers excited! 

The deaf-run department is ably headed up by Sergio and Kenedy who, with their team, produce long runs of beautiful print designs.


Breakfast - Lunch - Coffee - Cakes

Our Award-Winning Cafe

Whether it’s a latte and cinnamon bun while you catch up on your emails, a fresh fruit smoothy in the shade of our balcony, or a friendly lunchtime meal, our award-winning cafe is the place to be in Iringa.

It's popularity amongst tourists, volunteers, locals and ex-pats alike has made it a hub for social activity, where you can find out what is happening in town and connect with a wide cross-section of the community. You can even learn the local Swahili sign language from our waiters William and Shukuru, because our kitchen is entirely staffed deaf employees.

Open: 8.30am - 6.30pm, Mon-Sat

Available: Wifi, W/C, baby change, conference facilities, parking, kid's area.


The first deaf and disabled staffed guest house in Africa.

Take a break

Neema Crafts, in partnership with the Mother's Union (UMAKI) of the Diocese of Ruaha, has built the first deaf and disabled staffed guest house in Africa. 

We have 10 en-suite rooms, ranging from large family rooms, with beautiful views over the surrounding hills, to smaller double and twin rooms. Each room is equipped with clean, comfortable beds, bedding, nets, TV, shower and electricity.


Afforable stays at Neema UMAKI Guesthouse


Tourist: 25,000TSh
Residents: 20,000TSh


Tourist: 45,000TSh
Residents: 40000TSh


1 double bed and 1 bunk 
Tourist: 65,000TSh
Residents: 60,000TSh


Tourist: 55,000TSh
Residents: 50,000TSh


Tourist Family: 40,000TSh
Residents Family: 35,000TSh

Tourist Double/Twin: 35,000TSh  
Residents Double/Twin: 30,000TSh

Tourist Single in Dormitory: 18,000TSh, Resident Single in Dormitory: 15,000TSh


All prices include breakfast in our award winning café served from 07:30 – 9.30am.

Safari packed lunches and early breakfasts can be arranged at reception.


Host your meeting or conference here


Conference Room

The Neema Crafts conference room adjoins our award winning café and offers the following facilities:

- Seating for up to 80 people
- Projector and screen
- WiFi connection
- Catering: morning tea, buffet lunches and afternoon teas
- Toilets and baby change facilities

Accomodation: Neema Crafts also has a 10 bedroom guest house (which sleeps 30 in total), please click here for booking details and rates.

Beautiful surroundings: The conference room boasts an impressive view over the Iringa hills and in between conference sessions you can step out onto our relaxing balcony for a refreshing break.

Parking: There is ample, free parking in front of and alongside the centre. Click here to find us on Google Maps.

If you would like to view the venue before booking, why not come and enjoy a coffee at our cafe and our team can talk you through the options?